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Doctors: Vetting

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what checks are made of the (a) qualifications and (b) records of visiting surgeons performing operations in the NHS. (119011)

All doctors who wish to work in the United Kingdom must register with the General Medical Council (GMC). The following documentary evidence is needed by the GMC to support their application:

primary medical qualification;

specialist medical qualification;

licence to practice medicine;

certificate of good standing from a regulatory body of the country they are practising;

proof of nationality - passport or national identity card;

curriculum vitae;

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certificate (if applicable); and

current registration fee.

As part of the process all overseas doctors must visit the GMC London office in person to undergo a pre-registration identity check. A photograph of the doctor will be taken and this will be made available to employers so they can be assured of the doctor's identity.

Full registration enables doctors to work in any form of professional medical practice in the UK. Doctors must, however, also hold specialist registration to take up a consultant post (other than a locum consultant post) in the national health service. General practitioners (GPs) must be on the GP register.

NHS trusts who recruit staff from abroad should carry out the necessary pre-appointment checks in accordance with NHS employers safer recruitment guidance. These checks should include:

verification of identity;

qualifications;

registration;

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks;

alert letters;

Protection of Children Act (PoCA) check;

references; and

occupational health checks.